Palmer Luckey’s Anduril Industries Wins Project Maven Contract

Pentagon’s controversial artificial intelligence program named Project Maven now has a new tech company that has won the contract – the startup company named Anduril Industries.

Palmer Luckey’s company just won the contract for the program that uses machine learning to look through countless hours of drone footage, helping the systems distinguish people from surroundings, writes The Verge. After Luckey, the 26-year-old entrepreneur and founder of the Oculus Rift, left Facebook, he focused on Anduril Industries. The startup worked in the defense industry for surveillance since it was founded in 2017.

Project Maven will help improve the intelligence on what’s captured on the cameras and help military officers make better decisions and minimize mistakes and casualties.

Google might have backed out of the program, but this doesn’t mean other companies aren’t interested in participating. Employees have warned Google and Microsoft from participating in military contracts and drop the high-profile military contracts with the Army.

Helping The Military in Defense Projects

Anduril’s current system is Lattice, which uses machine learning to identify objects for border monitoring and awareness on the battlefield. Luckey hopes the AI can help soldiers have “perfect omniscience” of the battlefield to avoid surprises.

“What we’re working on is taking data from lots of different sensors, putting it into an AI-powered sensor fusion platform so that you can build a perfect 3D model of everything that’s going on in a large area,” Luckey said at a conference last November.

Before winning the contract for Project Maven, Luckey made his opinion about military public, saying that the industry should support the military for defense projects:

“Our military cannot protect us with sticks and stones. Technological abstinence is not realistic or ethical. The vast majority of Americans (and tech workers!) are supportive of collaboration between the military and innovative companies, the opposition is a vocal minority,” wrote Luckey on Twitter.

Luckey started working on Project Maven last year. Anduril Industries has also completed the first phase of their research, and are planning to deploy the tech in Afghanistan, adds The Intercept.

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